It seems like every man, woman and dog have their own blog these days, so it’s essential you make your blog stand out. You can be a great writer, but if you don’t market your blog right, it will slip under the radar and cost you precious readers.
Here are 7 tips that will draw people to your writing and make your blog a runaway success.
1. Establish your niche
It’s pretty simple; if you write about what you know, people will want to read your work. Some people write about music and pop culture, others publish creative writing, many people write personal narratives, and others write about IT.
Don’t try and become something you’re not in your pursuit of creating a brilliant blog. Keep it simple and stick to what you know, because in the long run it will a lot more enjoyable for you, and readers will trust your voice.
A great example of working in your niche is the blog 'Writers In Charge'. Blogger Bamidele Onibalusi rebranded his blog after he built up his own career as a freelancer and now puts together articles, teaching freelancers to “take charge of your writing career.”
Through his own experience and expertise, Bamidele identified a key audience who would flock to his writing on the subject. Today, ‘Writers in Charge’ reaches freelancers all over the globe as a trusted, reliable and reputable voice on what it takes to build up a career as a writer.
Why? Because Bamidele is ALSO a writer, and has firsthand knowledge on the subject.
2. Come up with a catchy title
Your blog is your brand, and you want people to see it and know what you’re all about. Name it something clean, simple and catchy.
You can make it a twist on your name or simply choose a name that reflects your overall content.
Also try to make sure it's spelling is simple!
3. Social media is your friend
As soon as you set up your blog, people will come across it and read your work. However, a large amount of people won’t naturally just flock to your blog, so it’s important you share it with the world.
This starts on your personal social media accounts. Every time you write a post, share it on your newsfeed. Your friends and family are an easily accessible audience, and you’d be surprised at how many will actually read your work.
Take a look at how entrepreneur and author Dale Partridge approaches social media. After posting content on his blog, he proceeds to share it on his personal Twitter account, his official Facebook page, he creates numerous graphics for it on Pinterest, and often mentions it on Instagram.
For extra leverage, he will also send out a link in newsletter form, cultivating a sense of community with his followers and broadening his reach.
4. Be consistent
Consistency is a struggle for every writer, but for the benefit of your audience you need to try and post at a regular time every week.
Some people publish a chapter of a book they are working on at the same time each week, and other people post sporadically most days.
The main idea is that whenever and however much you post, your audience needs to know you are reliable. Obviously you can’t be on your laptop all the time, so schedule your upcoming posts for a specific time and day, and use programs like Hootsuite to schedule your social media content.
Non profit To Write Love On Her Arms posts a new blog every few days, and occasionally will post at random intervals if something topical or significant comes up.
Supporters know there will be regular content posted throughout the week, and even if a post is published unexpectedly, it is immediately shared on their social media so it is accessible. Between blog posts, they will post quotes, images and team news on their social media, giving their readers daily doses of inspiration and hope between each blog post.
5. Make it look good
As beautiful as your words may be, the first thing that grabs people (aside from your amazing title of course), is how your blog looks.
Select a stellar theme and layout, make a banner and use graphics. Dale Partridge's blog has a clean and simple logo, and uses bold colours, clear fonts and straight lines to appeal to its Gen Y audience.
Don’t go overkill (we don’t want a repeat of the early 00’s comic sans era), but be clever with your colour choices and the images you use.
A simple edit on Photoshop can make them into an eye catching banner, gaining you valuable hits you would have otherwise missed.
Alternatively, you can use apps like Canva to create images for your blog, and social media platforms.
When it comes to layout selection, do your research and see what similar blogs are using and what appeals to your audience.
Whether you pay for a custom layout or download a free one is up to you, as many blogging websites will provide both free and paid for options.
Ideally though, your layout will correspond with your content and audience, adding to the overall experience a reader has when they visit your blog.
6. Hashtags rule the world
When you utilize the humble hashtag, you can gain thousands of followers instantly. The hashtags you use will depend on your content, so research similar blogs on Instagram and Twitter and work from there. Simple hashtags like #writer, #travel, #blogger and #writersofinstagram make all the difference when placed at the end of your blog and on social media posts.
You can also utilise hashtags by creating expressions distinct to your content (eg. #kindlingcountdown #kindlinglaunch).
Another option is to branch into widely searched for hashtags like #quote #blog and #HappyMonday, so new content can be found by regular readers and potential readers alike.
7. Make your content interactive
Finally, make it easy for your audience to communicate and interact with you.
This means opening up a comment section below each post, making it available for sharing on social media, and allowing people to like and share your content when they find it on Facebook.
The amount of traffic your website will get from a single retweet or share can be pretty phenomenal, so make this an option for your readers.
Every blog post has room for likes, shares and comments below it, and on social media.
Be sure to go out of your way to interact with your readers. Respond to comments, run competitions, follow fans, and regularly reach out to them, asking for their feedback.
By creating this connection with your audience, they become expectant for new content, engaging in it and investing in what you have to say.